Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of its study of the Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) top government pensions.
“There are 276 Crook County pensioners getting over $100,000 in annual pension payments taking the total for the state over 10,000”, according to TUA president, Jim Tobin. “The average retirement age of these 276 retirees is only about 60 with an average estimated lifetime payout of $4.7 million.”
“As Crook County property owners receive their property tax bills next week, they need to remember two things: 80% of the property taxes they are about to pay is used to fund the salaries and benefits of the government employees, and second, the legislators we elected have failed to reform the very system that siphons away our wealth for their own benefit.”
“Illinois House Speaker, Michael Madigan (D), and Senate Majority Leader, John Cullerton (D), have failed in their roles as leaders of the Illinois General Assembly and should be fired by voters. The government pension system has failed and it didn’t happen over night or without warning. Taxpayers can’t afford to pay people for the services they need today if we are paying millions to people who no longer work! How can we afford to staff Stroger Hospital with competent doctors today if we are spending all of our resources to pay the doctors who have retired?”
“We need to pay all government employees fair wages that allow them to save for their own retirement. Cook County taxpayers are slaves to their property taxes. Cook County has some of the highest property taxes in the country and government salaries and pensions are the reason.”
“Real pension reforms were proposed in SB2026 which was introduced by Illinois State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-25, North Aurora), but that bill did nothing to help the union bosses maintain favor with their rank and file and was quickly rejected by Senate ‘leadership’.”
“The purpose of our pension study is to put some perspective around individual pensions, to put them in terms to which the average taxpayer can relate. Illinois taxpayers, whose average household income is $54,598, and struggle with 9.7% unemployment need to know how much Illinois’ government retirees are being paid not to work and the astronomical accumulation of those payments over an average lifetime.”
“Alon Winnie collects a taxpayer-funded annual pension of $330,323 and will accumulate a stunning $4,698,522 in lifetime pension payments.*”
“John Barrett has an annual pension of $321,854. Having retired at only 58 years of age, he will enjoy a staggering estimated lifetime payout of $10,037,135. His contribution of the estimated lifetime payout would be only 3.8%.* ”
“Without sweeping and immediate reform, Illinois’ government pension systems will collapse by 2015. It’s mathematically impossible to tax your way out of this problem. Illinois has more than 10,000 retirees collecting more than $100,000; in 2020, that will be over 25,000 six-figure pensioners. Real pension reform must include raising the retirement age to 67, increasing employee contributions by 10%, increasing healthcare contributions to 50%, eliminating all COLA’s, and replacing the defined benefit system with a defined contribution system for all new hires.”
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).